Breaking-ish News

June 27th, 2005

Posted by: admin

The House Energy Committee, apparently not busy enough tweaking the details of the upcoming conference report on H.R. 6, has sent letters to various players in climate change studies requesting information on how their research was done. Link to the letters is here.

The letters were dated last Thursday but it’s unclear when they were posted to the House E&C webpage. Probably a classic Friday afternoon release.

I’ll comment more on this and other topics in a short while, but first one note: the four-page request to Mann seems to be entirely based upon (or least take off from) a February article in the WSJ written by Antonio Regaldo. I posted here about the Regaldo WSJ article. In the post I came down hard on Mann while essentially stating that Regaldo’s analysis was correct. But when this issue goes from public newsprint quibbling to Congressional hearing grandstanding (and this is obviously nothing more noble than that), we have big problems.

More later.

This post also appears on Kevin’s blog here.

6 Responses to “Breaking-ish News”

  1. William Says:

    Ironically for accuracy… your need to dig at Mann in your previous post leads you to call the 1999 GRL paper “the original”. But, as Any Fule Kno, the original is MBH98 in Nature.

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  3. kevin Says:

    Thanks William, but there’s no need to be defensive on Michael’s behalf or backhandedly insulting on your own. Clearly the Nature 1998 paper is not the original hockey stick pub, with data going back only to 1400. The “hockey stick” as used by IPCC and the source of controversy in the WSJ article, refers to the GRL 1999 pub, which goes back to 1000.

    (If you want, take a look at the figure legend and caption for Figure 2.21 in the 2001 IPCC Scientific Basis report: )

    And if even if all that were not true, my point about the irony of blasting GRL peer review while publishing a controversial paper in the same journal still stands!

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  5. William Says:

    A curious air of unreality… clearly MBH98 *is* the original hockey stick paper. Its the one that Senator X has written to Mann about; its the one that M&M have spent so much time over, its the one that the IPCC cite (the very page you quote shows taht one cited first, and the GRL one is merely an extension of it). How very “ironic” this all is.

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  7. James Annan Says:

    I guess this is the nearest thing to contrition we can expect from Prometheus for this previous contribution to the witch-hunt:

    McIntyre’s views on climate science policy make good sense and are good for the community as a whole.

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  9. Lisa D. Says:

    I’ve read the letters, and it goes beyond grandstanding to an attempt to intimidate– intimidation because certain scientists are being singled out and asked to provide incredible detail on their career life, research product, not to mention the not-so thinly veiled accusations of professional misconduct from the level of the U.S. Government. What’s interesting is that it appears that out of all the climate science out there, the Mann et al curve seems to be the lightning rod that those opposed to discussing climate policy are now pinning their hopes upon. It’s yet another example (albeit at an elevated level with higher personal costs) of the values debate on what to do, if anything, about climate change being masked by red herrings about the science. I guess on the plus side we can be glad that the US Congress is taking such a keen interest in bristlecone pine and other tree ring data— and people say the public doesn’t care about science…

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  11. James Bradbury Says:

    I have to echo the concerns of Lisa D. I also humbly suggest that now may be a good time for all scientists to take a fresh look at what the politicization of science means for the integrity of their respective fields.

    In 2005, alone, we have seen medical doctors, evolutionary biologists and climatologists directly questioned and challenged through political, legislative and legal actions by elected officials in our state and federal governments. I hope, when returning to this topic, that Prometheus can speak to this broader issue.

    Kind Regards, james